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The DrPH program is built around a set of common (foundational) competencies that all students entering the program will be expected to achieve. These competencies focus in particular on leadership, analytical skills and communication, but also cover policy, management, ethics, program design and evaluation. Many of these core competencies are taught through an integrated sequence of problem-based learning classes that address recent public health challenges and provide students with opportunities to apply skills in a close to real life setting.

In addition to these competencies (noted in the table below), students will address additional competencies that relate either to a specific concentration within the program, or a customized program of study discussed and agreed upon between the student, the advisor and the DrPH office.

The program requires successful completion of a minimum of 57 term credits of course work, plus a minimum of 7 term credits for the dissertation, for a minimum total of 64 term credits.

Students will take a comprehensive written examination at the conclusion of their required course work, a preliminary oral examination before they conduct their dissertation work and a final oral examination. Students may complete the degree over a minimum of 4 years up to a maximum of 9 years.

Foundational Program Competencies for the School-wide DrPH

By the end of the program, DrPH students should have gained the competencies listed below:



For the redesigned DrPH program, the following four concentrations will be available:

In addition to these five areas of concentration, students may also choose to follow a customized course of study, agreed upon between the student, their advisor and the DrPH Program Office.

The customized approach to the DrPH degree allows students the flexibility to tailor the program to their own personal and professional goals. Students in the customized program may choose to specialize in a particular public health field such as mental health, surveillance, nutrition, or another applied area not reflected in the listed concentrations.

Students who wish to pursue a customized track need to state this in their application for admissions to the program. Upon admission, they will need to work with their advisors to articulate the competencies which they are pursuing, and select appropriate courses, available online or through institutes, to meet these competencies.

The Bloomberg School continues to support students already accepted into the former concentrations, but will not be matriculating new students outside of the four concentrations described above, and the customized course of study.

State-specific Information for Online Students

Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.